IN a rare development likely to be welcomed by human rights defenders, a magistrate has ordered the arrest and prosecution of three police officers at Nyimba Police Station in connection for torturing a suspect who later died.
Chipata senior resident magistrate Felix Kaoma, sitting as a coroner in Nyimba District, directed that the three officers be charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of 32-year-old Acklass Zulu.
The police officers in question, Charles Phiri, Simeon Mwanza and Clive Museka, all constables, allegedly tortured Mr Zulu on suspicion of stealing a cell phone.
Mr Zulu died on March 12 this year, three to four hours after he was allegedly beaten by the three officers while in police custody.
The man died on the way to hospital from the police station where he had earlier been seen crying in pain after being beaten.
After hearing an inquiry into the death of Mr Zulu, magistrate Kaoma, who is also the coroner for Chipata District, found that the victim did not die of natural causes.
“I find evidence connecting Constable Charles Phiri, Constable Simeon Mwanza and Constable Clive Museka all of Nyimba Police Station.
“I, accordingly direct that the same be arrested and charged with the offense of manslaughter contrary to section 199 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia,” Mr Kaoma said in the verdict.
During hearing of what led to the death, the coroner heard that Mr Zulu died on March 12 between 20:00hours and 21:00hours on the way to the hospital from police cells.
“His body was positively identified by Joseph Ngulube his brother on 15th day of March, 2023, before post-mortem,” Mr Kaoma said.
The court heard that on the day Mr Zulu died, he had been in good health and never complained of any sickness to his wife or close associates.
“However, his wife was the first to be picked by a police officer she identified during the inquest to be one of the witnesses in jeopardy and was detained in police cells in connection with a stolen phone,” Mr Kaoma said.
Police used the woman’s phone to corner her husband, Mr Zulu, who was subsequently apprehended by the three officers.
“According to his [Mr Zulu] wife, when the deceased was brought to the police, he was taken to the office she identified to be the CID office in which the three officers took turns to beat him with short buttons while he was crying in her full view,” the verdict reads.
The woman was later released while her husband was taken in the cells.
“Two witnesses were called from those who were in cells who confirmed to have heard a person crying from the offices.
“The [crying] person was subsequently brought by the cell door and one of them was asked to lift him into the cell and he did so. The person was identified as the now deceased Mr Zulu,” Mr Kaoma said.
The court heard that Mr Zulu continued crying while in cells until his voice started diminishing before he eventually passed out.
Mr Zulu had asked for panadol and water but he failed to drink the medicine.
“This is how the deceased met his death as he was being taken to the hospital,” the verdict reads.
A postmortem revealed that the cause of Mr Zulu’s death was bleeding within the skull.
With evidence of assault, Mr Kaoma found that the three police constables appear to share in the blame for the death.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 12th October, 2023)
‘I did not expect him to play well’ Leicester City coach on Patson Daka
LEICESTER City coach Enzo Maresca has said he did not expect striker Patson Daka to play well on Saturday having not seen much game time this season.
Yesterday, Daka served his manager a humble pie, scoring a goal and providing an assist in the 4-0 win over Plymouth.
In a post match Interview, Maresca revealed that, “I told Pat before the game: ‘It doesn’t matter if you play well or bad. I don’t expect you to play well. I can understand to be out for three or four months. So play free, relax, enjoy, and then we’ll see,” Maresca said.
Maresca said he is sorry that the player has not seen much action.
“I always said to him [Daka] that in these three or four months: ‘Pat, I’m very sorry for the situation.’ But it is what it is.”
Despite Daka’s impact, Maresca couldn’t give a concrete comment of the player’s future at the club.
“For me the future is Wednesday,” Maresca added. “I swear, serious. Pat is one of our players. We are happy. If he is not happy and he wants to leave, we’ll see. Now it’s about Wednesday.”
(Mwebantu, Sunday, 10th December, 2023)
Lusaka farm workers run after stealing 150 pigs from employer, police say
THREE farm workers are on the run after they allegedly stole 150 pigs valued at K1.5 million.
The three are Peter Mumba aged 40, Isaac Banda aged 36 and Boniface Banda aged 20.
A manhunt has been launched to bring the suspects to book.
Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said the incident allegedly took place on Friday December 8th between 19:00 to 20:00 hours.
He said the report of theft by servant was received from Veronica Phiri, the owner of the farm in the industrial area.
“Brief facts of the matter are that the reporter (farm owner) employed the trio at her farm two years ago. On December 7,2023,She visited her farm and everything was intact. However, on December 9,2023 around 10:00 hours,She received a phone call from her neighbour that there was no one at her farm including all workers and their wives.She later drove to her farm and found no body and all her livestock had been stolen,” he said.
Mr Hamoonga said she then immediately reported the matter to Westwood Police Station.
He added that Police Officers visited the scene of crime and found no workers at the farm and all the pigs had been stolen.
(Mwebantu, Sunday, 10th December, 2023)
Suspected criminal shot dead in Lusaka
POLICE have gunned down a suspected criminal believed to be behind a spate of robberies.
The suspect only known as Jack TC is believed to have committed a spate of crimes with his colleagues who are on the run.
Jack TC was renting an apartment in Kalundu area of Lusaka and allegedly hired a vehicle three months prior, which he used to commit the said crimes.
Police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga said the unfolding of the crimes started on November 29,2023, during routine patrols when officers spotted a Silver Toyota Ractis bearing Registration CAC 825 ZM which was suspiciously parked along a small gravel road.
He said when challenged, the occupants started the motor vehicle and spade off almost hitting one of the officers.
“This prompted officers to fire warning shots and consequently three suspected criminals escaped and abandoned the vehicle. A set of number plates bearing Registration number BAE 6146 ZM, were recovered. The vehicle was later discovered to have been hired out to Clement Katunga of Katungu farms in Makeni through our investigations,” he said.
He said later on December 7, 2023 around 09:00 hours, officers went to Lusaka west in Kalundu area where they found that the suspect was renting an apartment.
Mr Hamoonga said when officers approached the apartment, two suspected criminals came out and jumped over a wall fence with a lazer wire.
He explained that several warning shots were fired towards the two escaping criminals who nevertheless disappeared into a thicket in the neighboring farm.
“Unfortunately, when officers conducted a search around the thicket, one suspected criminal only known as Jack TC was found lying on the ground after he sustained bullet wounds and lazer wire respectively. He was rushed to University Teaching Hospital, but was unfortunately pronounced dead by a medical doctor,” he said.
Meanwhile, at the apartment officers recovered the following Unregistered Mark X grey in colour ,13 ladies hand bags, a set of four black mag rims wheels, with tyres, two sets of Number plates BAX 3769 and SHIKY 1, a double sticker seal tape, two pairs of ladies shoes, ÀB BANK Cash withdraw slip by IFO SABRIE KALID, a Gun case, FNB ATM bearing card number 1646, a Money tag Slip from Atlas Mara Zambezi mall and two NRCs bearing the names of Samuel Zulu and Mooba Habombe
Mr Hamoonga said also found was a driving licence for Clement Katunga ,Sherbourne lodge identity card for manager ,12 – 2023 Inclusive Sports Festival T-shirts, eight laptop bags, six Travelling bags, four suitcases and two kit bags.
“The Owner of the Ractis vehicle has identified the now deceased as the person who had in fact hired his vehicle for at least three months.
Investigations have since been instituted and a manhunt for the suspect who escaped is on,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)